Longtime Y&T guitarist Joey Alves has died at the age of 63 after a battle with ulcerative colitis and other health complications.

Alves played on the Oakland, California-based band's first eight studio albums, including the sizeable mid-'80s hits In Rock We Trust and Down for the Count. Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti - who is now the only surviving member of the lineup that recorded the group's 1976 debut - shared the sad news on his Facebook page:

"It’s with great sadness that I write this today. Y&T's original rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, passed away at 7:10 this morning at the age of 63... Joey was one of the finest rock rhythm guitarists, and I’ll always remember playing next to him chunking out those monster chords with his classic red double cutaway ‘59 Les Paul Jr. As Ronnie Montrose once said about Joey, “There are rhythm players, then there's Joey. A class of his own.....”. He was a fun guy who always played with attitude and conviction, and was responsible for writing some memorable riffs for Y&T over the years. His friendship and presence will be missed. This is a great loss for all the Y&T family and faithful. He now joins [bassist] Phil [Kennemore, who died in 2011] and [drummer] Leonard [Haze, who died last year] in rock and roll heaven."

On With the Show, a documentary about Y&T's four decade-long career, is reportedly near completion, and is expected to focus heavily on Alves' time with the band.

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